Jakarta governor Ahok named 'Global Thinker'

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - US magazine Foreign Policy (FP) names former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama as one of its Global Thinkers.

Former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is on the 2017 list of Global Thinkers compiled by US magazine Foreign Policy (FP).

He was recognised as one of 100 Global Thinkers for standing up to Indonesia’s creeping fundamentalism and considered one of the most prominent symbols of the country’s beleaguered ethnic and religious pluralism.

“Sharp-tongued, of Chinese descent, and a practicing Protestant in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Ahok did not fit the profile of a typical Indonesian politician,” the FP notes.

Ahok, who led Jakarta from 2014 to 2017, served as deputy governor under former Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who decided to run for the presidency in 2014 and won, causing Ahok to take over his place.

However, following a remark on a Quran verse he made in a speech in Thousand Islands regency in September last year, he has been behind bars since May.

Hard-line Islamic groups had pushed for the trial against Ahok and wanted him sentenced to at least five years in prison. The panel of judges ruled in May that Ahok was guilty of blasphemy and sentenced him to two years in prison.

Despite the legal proceedings against him, Ahok still ran for governor alongside his deputy Djarot Saiful Hidayat. But the pair lost to Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno, who were supported by numerous Islamic groups.

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